You know, I don't like the bulk of natural parents being judged by our small minority of truly bad parents, the small percentage of dregs at the bottom that are truly not fit or capable of raising a child, but I wonder how those who present the adopters as ALWAYS being "fitter than thou" would like it if all such articles as the one I am posting were put in a book. It would be a thick one with lots of heart-breaking chapters including imprisonment in cages, starvation and "accidental" suffocation from "re-birthing therapy."
Some experts, and I do mean scientists, psychiatrists and psychologists postulate the very reasonable theory that abuse might be more common where there is no biological connection between the caregiver and the child. I know that stories like this are finally reaching the light of day. I guess the lobbies and attorneys of the facilitators can't fight a "free" press (or, at least, it used to be). Read this one and weep. It happened just a few miles south of my home and it breaks my heart for these children and their bereft families in Guatemala.
This is in my own back yard. I live in Sanford, FL, just 20 minutes north of Orlando. I have already had a recent letter to the editor published and they require a three-month interval between letters from the same contributor. So, if anyone would like to comment to the sentinel, go to firstname.lastname@example.org. Begin your post "To the Editor" and cite this article and today's date, 5/8/08.
Child-abuse allegations against dad shatter life of luxuryThe father is arrested after a nanny provides video to Orlando cops.
Walter Pacheco and Bianca Prieto Sentinel Staff Writers
May 9, 2008
The new neighbors in one of Orlando's toniest areas appeared to have an ideal life.Brian Kloosterman and his wife, Stephanie Schreiner, had invested millions in real estate. They also shared their luxury with five children, including four they adopted from poverty-stricken Guatemala.
But now Kloosterman is under investigation and the children are in protective custody. A nanny told police Monday that one of the couple's adopted daughters had a suspicious bruise, and that Kloosterman -- a stay-at-home-father in the brick mansion on Cherokee Drive -- had beaten one of his adopted sons.Police say the nanny showed them a video recording that captured Kloosterman whipping his adopted son with underwear and crushing the child under his weight on a bed. Kloosterman was arrested on charges of child abuse early Tuesday and was released a day later from the Orange County Jail after posting $1,000 bail.
This is the second time Kloosterman, 33, has come under scrutiny following allegations of child abuse. The Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office investigated an aggravated child-abuse complaint in 2007, but no charges were filed.In that case, it's alleged that Kloosterman, a former EMT, shook and injured the couple's 9-month-old adopted baby girl, state attorney's spokeswoman Danielle Tavernier said.
Details of that case have not been released, but the child's X-rays were reviewed by Orange-Osceola Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia, of the popular TV show Dr. G. Medical Examiner.Garavaglia told reporters Thursday that she reviewed the infant's records as a "professional courtesy" to Schreiner, a pathologist at Orlando Regional Medical Center whom she had met only once three years ago.Garavaglia remembered that the baby in that case "appeared to have suffered non-accidental injuries, but no clear-cut evidence on the time frame." She urged prosecutors to conduct additional tests, which might determine when the infant was injured.After realizing the injuries would be the focus of a child-abuse investigation, Garavaglia said, she severed communication with Schreiner. "I didn't want any more to do with it," she said.
The case remains open.Neither Schreiner nor Kloosterman could be reached for comment.Investigators "did everything they could to make sure the children were safe, but there was insufficient evidence to go any further," Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Carrie Hoeppner said of the 2007 case.As a result of the new case, the couple's five children were placed in protective custody."Potential caregivers have been identified, and they may not need to enter foster care," Hoeppner said.
A judge ruled that Kloosterman is not allowed to see his children and Schreiner can have only supervised contact.On Monday, the family's most recent nanny, Cynthia Velez, contacted police after videotaping Kloosterman. That's the videotape, according to police, that shows Kloosterman flicking the child in the face with underwear and pressing him down on a bed with his body.
Some neighbors were shocked by the allegations.Maggie Rogers described Kloosterman as a loving and attentive father."They seemed perfectly normal," Rogers said. "They seemed like responsible, normal, devoted parents."But Velez told police that Schreiner fired her after she confronted her about Kloosterman this week. The previous nanny, Alice Martin, also was fired after complaining to the mother about similar behavior, Velez told police.
Adoption experts said it's curious that the couple could continue to adopt children -- their most recent adoption was three weeks ago -- after a previous allegation of child abuse."Even if the accused is cleared of any wrongdoing, the standard practice is to suspend any pending adoptions or deny placement outright," said Chuck Johnson, vice president of the National Council for Adoption. (*looks like someone is dancing as fast as they can..RW)
Henry Pierson Curtis of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report. Walter Pacheco can be reached at email@example.com or 407-420-6262. Bianca Prieto can be reached at 407-420-5620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.